BY MARIO CONDE
At its last meeting of the year, the Calexico Unified School District board heard a presentation regarding the district’s academic services and results.
With the transitioning of the No Child Left Behind Act to the Every Student Succeeds Act, the district is required to present to the school board district-level planning documents that reflect current programs. The districtwide professional development will focus on The Growth Mindset and strategies within the AVID College Readiness System: writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading with an emphasis on English learner support, academic discourse, and writing across content areas.
This approach is based on data collected and analyzed from sources such as the California Department of Education website; California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Test Results for English Language Arts/Literacy and Math; California Healthy Kids Survey; California School Parent Survey; California School Staff Survey; and site walk throughs and teacher surveys,
Assistant Superintendent Elisa Ramirez made the presentation to the board and stated that in 2016-17, the district had a total enrollment of 9,252 students of which 66 percent, or 6,086, were English learners. Of the 2,966 English-learner students tested only 10 percent, or 297, met or exceeded the standard assessed. A total of 90 percent, or 2,699, English-learner students did not meet or nearly met the standard assessed.
Ramirez said that an analysis of data, teacher surveys and walkthrough data conducted by administrators and coaches revealed that more targeted support is needed for students to increase their English-language proficiency and meet the more rigorous demands of higher education and the workplace.
Assessment data analysis of reading, writing and listening scores for English learners indicates that 92 percent of the district’s English-language students were below or near meeting the reading standard, 89 percent were below or near meeting the writing standard, and 94 percent were below or near meeting the listening standard.
“This is an average of 92 percent below or near meeting the standard with only eight percent above standard in all three areas,” Ramirez said.
In the writing portion, Ramirez said that scores indicate 89 percent of all students tested were below or near meeting the standard in writing communication. Only 11 percent, or 516 students, were above the standard.
The analysis of writing assessments and calibration indicate students are writing below grade-level standard due to the lack of development in academic, vocabulary, sentence and grammatical structures, as well as difficulty addressing the three genes of writing required by the state standards, which are narrative, opinion/argumentative and explanatory.